Quick Takes: The Babysitter 2, The Owners, Sputnik, The Soul Collector

by on Sep.15, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

The Babysitter: Killer Queen is an insanely gory, ridiculous & highly stylized sequel that recaptures the lunacy of the first one. The returning cast of bewitching satanic cult idiots vs. the amiable nerdy kid makes it quite watchable horror but the syrupy ending needed a major rewrite.



The Owners is a well-polished U.K. home invasion horror movie with several expected twists. Outlandish performances hold the film together but after a few gory moments, it sort of stalls & takes on a mean-spirited vibe. It ends illogically & confused with a sort of whimper. 

Sputnik takes a familiar #scifi story & keeps the focus intimate. At its core it’s an exploration on the cost ambition, the search for knowledge, heroism & also a vicious alien. It’s a solid debut with a brisk pace that keeps the plot moving toward the expected conclusion. 

8: A South African Horror Story (a.k.a. The Soul Collector) has an old-school horror vibe, teeming with slow burn dread, gorgeous atmospherics, and shadowy figures. While it feels all too familiar, the setting and culture of South Africa is not. I loved the folklore and customs but so much was left unexplored and characters never fully revealed.  

Leave a Comment more...

Quick Takes: The Babysitter 2, The Owners, Sputnik, The Soul Collector

by on Sep.15, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

The Babysitter: Killer Queen is an insanely gory, ridiculous & highly stylized sequel that recaptures the lunacy of the first one. The returning cast of bewitching satanic cult idiots vs. the amiable nerdy kid makes it quite watchable horror but the syrupy ending needed a major rewrite.



The Owners is a well-polished U.K. home invasion horror movie with several expected twists. Outlandish performances hold the film together but after a few gory moments, it sort of stalls & takes on a mean-spirited vibe. It ends illogically & confused with a sort of whimper. 

Sputnik takes a familiar #scifi story & keeps the focus intimate. At its core it’s an exploration on the cost ambition, the search for knowledge, heroism & also a vicious alien. It’s a solid debut with a brisk pace that keeps the plot moving toward the expected conclusion. 

8: A South African Horror Story (a.k.a. The Soul Collector) has an old-school horror vibe, teeming with slow burn dread, gorgeous atmospherics, and shadowy figures. While it feels all too familiar, the setting and culture of South Africa is not. I loved the folklore and customs but so much was left unexplored and characters never fully revealed.  

Leave a Comment more...

Can Drive-Thru Terror Become a True Horror?

by on Sep.04, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

Not even a pandemic will stop Halloween and after months of the unrelenting doldrums, folks are looking towards holidays to have some fun. Haunted attractions have mostly been shut down across the country so the clever and creative haunt industry has conceived of the drive-thru horror experience. (The Haunted Road in Central Florida is one such attraction.) The concept sounds fantastic and will keep even the most timid safely within the metal frame of a car. I’m excited to see how these are done but do have to wonder about expected and unexpected safety issues. 

I have a friend who is an intelligent, college-educated individual but put him in a horror maze and his adrenalin-fueled imagination causes the otherwise composed person to push and shove children and older adults out of the way. I’ve seen it and it’s terrifyingly hilarious to watch. Now put a highly suggestible person like this in a car and that behavior might be cause for alarm.
Also, at every haunt I’ve ever been to, many enthusiasts have been drinking or enjoying herbal supplements to heighten the experience. Add distracting spectacles of fear, selfies, friends yelling in the car and where does that leave the haunt actors against a 2800 lb. vehicle? Even at a respectable distance, all-wheel-drive SUVs can really overcome many obstacles. Are they lining the roads with rubber tires or some other thing to act as bumpers? Or will it be ditches?  If a person has an accident along the route, what happens to all those cars behind him? I’m sure all these questions and more have been considered, right? 
The driver will always be responsible party regardless of the circumstances so lets hope the one with all the wits is behind the wheel. And as with all new attractions there will be hiccups, so patience will also be needed. The haunt industry is struggling, and unlike many other businesses, they only get one month to recoup losses. In the S.F. Bay Area, I’ve heard of one drive through experience, Pirates of Emerson, so I look forward to reporting back. To my friends, NOT IT. Someone else is driving.
Leave a Comment more...

La Llorona is Reimagined With a Timely Message

by on Aug.09, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

La Llorona is a sobering look at the Mayan genocide at the hands of the Guatemalan military, infused with a keenly reimagined figure of Latin folklore. A former general is being charged with the massacre,  torture and pillaging of the villages of Mayan civilians, including women and children. This was a counterinsurgency operation that followed the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996) and into the “Silent Holocaust” of 1981-1983 where upwards of 166,000 people were killed. 

Holed up in a lavish mansion, the general, his wife, and daughter are fending off a large group of protestors that continue their efforts around the clock just outside their gates. The sound design is restless and unnerving with the chants, songs and shouting always present at some level. Inside, the house staff abandon their positions, and the lone housekeeper is left to manage, clean up shattered windows, prepare meals, and caretake of the ailing general. Just in a time a woman with long flowing hair, white gown, and a quiet disposition appears at their front door to offer her services. 

With a deliberate, methodical pace and shrouded, disquieting horror, the film is profound, satisfying & sorrowful. The harrowing dream sequences are brutal, and ultimately the film suggests that the crimes of men are paid by the women around them. 
This is an incredibly special film that evokes the same feelings I had after watching last year’s Tigers Are Not Afraid. The horrors are very real and this is not a traditional horror film which may be disappointing to those seeking quick thrills and jump scares. But as a historical drama with fantastical elements, this is an urgent, timely exploration of the need for folklore, giving a voice to the silent, and providing justice to the disenfranchised. 
However, this film is still not the definite take on the classic Llorona lore, which I hope someone will make one day. Folklore passes down stories of a culture, gives meanings to traditions, and explains hidden historical context that may otherwise be lost. La Llorona is very personal and important figure in Latin culture and she serves as a warning and cautionary tale within a mystical, ghostly figure. I grew up with her and it was frightening, alluring, and ever-present in my back of my mind.
La Llorona is currently available exclusively on Shudder.

Leave a Comment more...

Beware the Snake Oil from Cerave!

by on Aug.06, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

All this hand washing has left me feeling a little chaffed, and have been looking for a good hand cream. I don’t post many product reviews on other sites but when I do, I have strict brand guidelines to adhere to. The following review was initially rejected by Amazon for not following community guidelines, but I have appealed and the Evil Empire has acquiesced. At over $10 for 3 oz, this hand cream should be a mystical elixir, right?

Have you ever wondered to yourself, what will make me smell more like a swamp witch? Look no further. Cerave’s new and worsened hand lotion is sure to dredge up the intoxicating aroma of decomposing roots and standing water. It’s somehow thinner than water and yet has a standing tube design to ensure it sprays out evenly over everything the moment the cap is disengaged. After scooping the precious eau de lotionette off the sink and spreading the chalky coulis across your dry, brittle hand skin, you can remain confident that those hands will indeed remain bone dry. No pesky magic healing properties here! 

Leave a Comment more...

Quick Takes: The Other Lamb, Blood Quantum, Yummy

by on Aug.01, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

The Other Lamb. This hypnotic film tells its simple story almost completely visually with a dreamy aesthetic and mostly sparse prattle dialogue. Set in the cold, wind-whipped countryside of Ireland, the cinematography is breathtaking. As is the performance by Raffey Cassidy who hails from the classic Norma Desmond school of “We-didn’t-need-words-We-had-faces”. Her eyes seethe with anger and when she does scream its almost completely muted. The blunt message being that women with opinions of their own are “broken” – because the sole patriarchal shepherd says so. Movies about cults tend to be infuriating (why don’t they just leave) but this movie does not concern itself with the psychology of cult leaders or followers. It’s a much more intimate story of one girl becoming a woman in a cult. And though a drama, the film is shot like horror movie with clear directions that this cult is heading towards the inevitable dark road to coven.

Blood Quantum. Zombie film are such downers and this one is no different, however it’s much more poignant told from the viewpoint of First Nations residents who are seemingly immune. It’s extremely gory, nasty, and vile but that’s to be expected in this subgenre. There’s some fantastic visuals, including some animated sequences, and some odd, unusual camera work. While the performances are uneven they’re still very engaging, and it’s vital to see people of color both in front and behind the camera. The nagging problem is the screenplay that’s much too episodic, incoherent, and meandering to be effective.

Yummy. Disclaimer: zombie movies are not my favorite. The plot is always the same: outbreak happens, random group bonds, they get picked off one by one, and the one you think will survive doesn’t. And then it ends with no conclusion. Yummy checks off most of these boxes but it’s also surprising funny, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is outrageously gory. Absurdly, it’s set in a shady plastic surgery in Eastern Europe, and features a quirky cast that speaks Flemish, Polish (I think) and even English. Thankfully, the movie, whose tone reminded me a lot of Shaun of the Dead, ends before it sinks into bleak despair that ruins most zombie flicks.
Leave a Comment more...

Quick Takes: The Other Lamb, Blood Quantum, Yummy

by on Aug.01, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

The Other Lamb. This hypnotic film tells its simple story almost completely visually with a dreamy aesthetic and mostly sparse prattle dialogue. Set in the cold, wind-whipped countryside of Ireland, the cinematography is breathtaking. As is the performance by Raffey Cassidy who hails from the classic Norma Desmond school of “We-didn’t-need-words-We-had-faces”. Her eyes seethe with anger and when she does scream its almost completely muted. The blunt message being that women with opinions of their own are “broken” – because the sole patriarchal shepherd says so. Movies about cults tend to be infuriating (why don’t they just leave) but this movie does not concern itself with the psychology of cult leaders or followers. It’s a much more intimate story of one girl becoming a woman in a cult. And though a drama, the film is shot like horror movie with clear directions that this cult is heading towards the inevitable dark road to coven.

Blood Quantum. Zombie film are such downers and this one is no different, however it’s much more poignant told from the viewpoint of First Nations residents who are seemingly immune. It’s extremely gory, nasty, and vile but that’s to be expected in this subgenre. There’s some fantastic visuals, including some animated sequences, and some odd, unusual camera work. While the performances are uneven they’re still very engaging, and it’s vital to see people of color both in front and behind the camera. The nagging problem is the screenplay that’s much too episodic, incoherent, and meandering to be effective.

Yummy. Disclaimer: zombie movies are not my favorite. The plot is always the same: outbreak happens, random group bonds, they get picked off one by one, and the one you think will survive doesn’t. And then it ends with no conclusion. Yummy checks off most of these boxes but it’s also surprising funny, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is outrageously gory. Absurdly, it’s set in a shady plastic surgery in Eastern Europe, and features a quirky cast that speaks Flemish, Polish (I think) and even English. Thankfully, the movie, whose tone reminded me a lot of Shaun of the Dead, ends before it sinks into bleak despair that ruins most zombie flicks.
Leave a Comment more...

Quick Takes: Amulet, Beach House, The Siren

by on Jul.29, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

AMULET tells an ominous story of men, good & evil, atonement & a fascinating mythology. Stylishly shot with a languid pace unfolding in two timelines the horror suddenly explodes into an absurd, ethereal yet totally incomprehensible finish that still lingers & haunts the mind.

THE BEACH HOUSE is a steady-burn film that starts in one #horror genre & ends in another. The shift is sly with a wicked, calculated & clever plot that leaves you harrowed by the time you realize what’s truly happening. It’s a very effective, trippy, solid debut film.

In THE SIREN, tragedy begets tragedy and then you throw an innocent man from the church into the mix and see what happens. This mermaid tale is grounded in the most unfanciful fantasy with some beautiful shots on a lake, including some tricky night shots. I really appreciated the unique narrative touches, like the dude is hot but mute, the mermaid is really charming but a monster, and the central conflict told with confusing voiceovers is a gay man’s revenge tale. There’s one pivotal moment involving a near drowning that really lost me, along with a relatively  unsupported love story. It never provides much tension or suspense but perhaps that’s not the point for subgenre of horror romance. It’s also a bit too long but the solid performances keep you invested.

Leave a Comment more...

Quick Takes: Amulet, Beach House, The Siren

by on Jul.29, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

AMULET tells an ominous story of men, good & evil, atonement & a fascinating mythology. Stylishly shot with a languid pace unfolding in two timelines the horror suddenly explodes into an absurd, ethereal yet totally incomprehensible finish that still lingers & haunts the mind.

THE BEACH HOUSE is a steady-burn film that starts in one #horror genre & ends in another. The shift is sly with a wicked, calculated & clever plot that leaves you harrowed by the time you realize what’s truly happening. It’s a very effective, trippy, solid debut film.

In THE SIREN, tragedy begets tragedy and then you throw an innocent man from the church into the mix and see what happens. This mermaid tale is grounded in the most unfanciful fantasy with some beautiful shots on a lake, including some tricky night shots. I really appreciated the unique narrative touches, like the dude is hot but mute, the mermaid is really charming but a monster, and the central conflict told with confusing voiceovers is a gay man’s revenge tale. There’s one pivotal moment involving a near drowning that really lost me, along with a relatively  unsupported love story. It never provides much tension or suspense but perhaps that’s not the point for subgenre of horror romance. It’s also a bit too long but the solid performances keep you invested.

Leave a Comment more...

Target’s Creepy Plants are Back! …And Already Sold Out

by on Jul.17, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

Last year, Target put out a line of creepy faux Halloween plants. They were WILDLY popular and most stores never received any stock. There’s another chance this year, but we’ll probably not get them this year either. Apparently, there was some undisclosed presale and they’re already sold out. They will be officially “released” on August 27 according to the site so maybe there will be more stock? I chatted with a Target merchandising manager, and she said seasonal items are stocked once and done. But they sometimes will shift stock from store to store if it’s not selling. 
Here’s what they have/had available this year:

Leave a Comment more...

Site Representation Request

If you have a relevant website and wish to be represented on HauntedOctober.com, please send a link to your site with a brief description and be sure to include a note granting permission to include your content. Send requests to netherworldnetwork[at]comcast[dot]net with the subject line "content feed permission" and we will be happy to consider adding your site to our family of associated websites.

Information Content Disclaimer

The views and opinions stated in any and all of the articles represented on this site are solely those of the contributing author or authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of HauntedOctober.com, The Netherworld Network, its parent company or any affiliated companies, or any individual, groups, or companies mentioned in articles on this site.